The importance of building a strong backlink profile to increase your website's authority has been a cornerstone of SEO for years. As Google's algorithm evolved, so has the importance of securing links through creative brand-led campaigns. This has led to the merging of SEO and PR into what we now call 'digital PR'. As a PR professional, you might already be involved in link building without even knowing it. To achieve success, it's crucial to tweak your campaigns to simultaneously increase awareness and secure links. Here's a breakdown of everything you need to know about link building in 2023.
1. Relevancy is Key
When it comes to link building, relevancy is key. In 2023, it's not enough to simply acquire any links to your website; they need to be relevant to your industry, brand, and audience. The more relevant the link, the more value it provides to your website. While high authority sites may seem like the most important target for link building, relevancy should not be overlooked. It's better to have links from smaller, more niche websites that are relevant to your brand and industry than from larger sites that are not. In fact, Google's John Mueller has stated that relevancy is just as important, if not more, than high authority.
Tip: Use a tool like SEMrush to identify relevant prospects by analysing your competitors' backlink profiles. Look for smaller publications and niche websites that align with your brand and audience and think about how you can pitch to them. This can provide valuable opportunities for outreach and link building.
2. Inclusivity is a Must!
Inclusivity is a crucial consideration for effective link building strategies in 2023. It's not uncommon for businesses to overlook underrepresented audiences in their outreach efforts, which can lead to missed opportunities for link building. Google likes a diverse link profile so it totally makes sense think about diversity when it comes to outreach. By creating campaigns that cater to underrepresented audiences, you can generate unique link building opportunities while also showcasing your brand's commitment to diversity and inclusion. For instance, a sports equipment company that doesn't target those over 50 or disabled people can create campaigns focused on engaging with them. These can be pitched to relevant publications and websites that cater to these audiences, providing valuable links to your website. You can read more about how to create inclusive campaigns in my post here.
Tip: Use social listening tools to identify conversations and trends within underrepresented audiences. This can help to create relevant content and campaigns that resonate with them
3. Real-time Reactive Data is Your Friend
In 2023, keeping up with real-time trends is an essential aspect of successful PR outreach. By leveraging real-time data to jump on trending stories, you can create content that supports these trends and quickly pitch them to relevant publications. This strategy not only helps secure valuable links but also demonstrates your brand's ability to stay ahead of industry trends and be at the centre of the conversation.
Tip: utilise tools like Google Trends, Glimpse, Buzzsumo and TikTok to stay on top of current events and trends in your industry.
4. Create Content with Linkability in Mind
A brilliant PR campaign is based on brilliant content journalists want to use. This usually requires careful planning of a content strategy, which is be part of your overall PR strategy. Making it linkable is thinking about how you can present and repurpose the same content on your website that people want to link to. One approach is to create resources such as useful guides, industry reports, or expert commentary and format them in a way journalists can easily digest and use as a reference.
Tip: Consider creating visual content such as tables, charts, or graphs that display interesting data and statistics related to your industry. These visuals can serve as shareable assets journalists can digest quickly and link back to.
5. Incorporate Low-Hanging Fruit Pages To Your Outreach Campaigns
To achieve quick wins for your link building strategy, integrate 'low-hanging fruit' pages into your PR campaigns. Identify pages that are already ranking but could use an authority boost for increased visibility. Focus on ranking keywords with moderate search volume, and create relevant content/stories that naturally incorporates them. When you pitch content to relevant publications and websites, include links to these 'ranking' product pages to encourage journalists to link to them. This strategy will help drive category page links, capture low hanging fruit terms, and ultimately boost your rankings and website traffic.
Tip: Consider creating product or category-led stories such as product placements, listicles, or care tips related to your industry or niche
6. Better Reporting
Measuring the commercial impact of PR campaigns is challenging, and link building's organic search impact may take time to show results. As an industry, we need to get better at benchmarking and reports KPIs before, during, and after campaigns. Measuring success beyond coverage and links will mean having clear objectives and identifying metrics that demonstrate value to clients and stakeholders. Tools such as Google Analytics, Meltwater and CoverageBook can aid in showing what impact a campaign has had on brand equity, perception and share of voice/market.
Tip: Add Google Tag Manager (GTM) to your campaign page to be able to track user behaviour, website traffic, referral sources, conversions, and other important metrics. This will help you gain valuable insights into what publications brought visitors to your website how they engage with your content with they arrive.
7. Keep up-to-Date with Industry Trends and Algorithm Updates
Staying up-to-date with industry trends and algorithm updates is crucial for any PR professional to maintain a competitive edge in today's digital age. Google regularly updates its algorithm to improve the relevance and quality of search results, so staying informed about these changes can help you to stay ahead of the curve. Similarly, keeping up-to-date with emerging trends and best practices in the industry can help you to develop more innovative and effective campaigns, regardless of your specific focus within the PR field.
Tip: Subscribe to industry blogs and newsletters and hashtags to stay informed about the latest trends and updates in the industry.
With the ever-increasing importance of digital media and online presence, the line between traditional PR and digital PR is becoming increasingly blurred. In fact, it's becoming more and more apparent that digital PR will eventually be incorporated into all PR campaigns because it makes business sense. By combining traditional PR tactics with SEO best practices, digital PR allows PR professionals to achieve two objectives in one campaign. Not only can they earn valuable media coverage and brand exposure, but they can also improve their clients' online visibility and organic search rankings. As a result, PR professionals need to include search objectives as part of their overall strategy to make it more robust and impactful. By leveraging the power of link building and digital PR, PR professionals can help their clients to achieve a strong online presence and ultimately drive business growth. In the end, it's about delivering results that matter to clients and stakeholders, and digital PR is a key tool in achieving this goal.